The most common complaint about dogs is excessive barking. Barking is a natural, normal behavior. Dogs bark as a way to communicate with each other and people, to warn of unknown or unseen dangerous animals or people, or just to relieve stress or boredom when their owners aren’t home.
Excessive barking, however, can ruin the peace and quiet to which neighbors are entitled. When excessive barking reaches the point of public nuisance, it violates the Calaveras County Code and can result in a fine for the dog’s owner or even the removal of the dog from the owner.
If there is a dog excessively barking in your neighborhood, be sure to identify the specific barking dog, the correct location of the dog, and actual owner of the dog. It’s common for neighbors to make mistakes regarding the location and owner of a dog they believe is responsible for excessive barking. This is particularly true if acting out of frustration or anger, so try to remain calm.
If it is safe for you to do so, you can talk with your neighbor about his or her dog barking. Don’t assume your neighbor even knows his or her dog is barking. Many dog owners are commuters or otherwise not home during the day and have no idea that their dogs are causing annoyance. Sometimes a friendly visit between neighbors can solve the problem.
If a friendly visit doesn’t solve the problem of excessive barking, then you can choose to speak with an attorney to pursue it as a civil matter or you can report it to Animal Services. If you choose to report it to Animal Services, we’ll need a couple of things from you:
- Complaint reports signed by yourself and other neighbors who are willing to testify in court (Additional pages here).
- Barking Logs. A completed and signed barking log is required when submitting a nuisance barking complaint.
County code requires more than one neighbor to complain about nuisance barking. Neighbors from separate households must sign complaints regarding the same dog or dogs at the same location, as well as be willing to testify under oath in court. Barking logs will help you and your neighbors provide accurate information regarding the dates, times and duration of the barking that you believe is causing a nuisance.
For additional information and any questions, please contact us.